Alpaca Passion is ten years old! Since the doors opened to their first shop in Daylesford, at number 48 Vincent Street, a lot has changed in the town and the lives of the owners, Liz and Keith. Thankfully, a lot has remained the same too. Liz and Keith have never been known to let an opportunity pass them by, nor have they been shy of making what others would consider big, bold decisions.
They started Alpaca Passion in a small section of their shed on their alpaca farm in the Buckland Valley, in northeast Victoria. As interest grew for these captivating animals and the fleece they produced, they progressed to opening a store in Albury, NSW. Both businesses were performing so successfully that Liz decided she needed to finish her job as a bookkeeper for a local builder and dedicate all her attention to the alpacas.
As a parting gift, this local builder gave Liz a weekend getaway to the Lake House in Daylesford. Discovering the town for the first time in the depths of winter, Keith and Liz instantly saw the potential for their business and had signed a lease for the old video store before the weekend was up.
At the time, Daylesford was not known for its shopping as it is today. The hardware store was still located in Vincent Street and there was only a handful of other clothing shops. “It’s been one of the most exciting changes to witness,” says Liz. “We love that now people come to town not only to visit the day spas, mineral springs and restaurants, but also to shop at all of the unique stores that are here, where they find things they don’t see anywhere else.”
Popularity for all things alpaca grew so much that after four years, Alpaca Passion moved in to its larger, current premises at 72 Vincent Street. Since then, Liz and Keith have expanded their range incredibly and now stock their own label, A.P. MODA, which Liz and her daughter Cassie design themselves.
Today, even more changes are afoot. “After ten years of driving back and forth between the farm and Daylesford,” Liz explains, “we decided that we’ve worn out enough cars and we are moving the farm to Daylesford.” As anyone who has moved house would agree, it is never an enviable job, but having to also move over 100 alpacas makes the task even less appealing.
Once the move is complete at the end of this month, Buckland Alpacas will now call Lauriston its home, and Liz will be spending even more time at Alpaca Passion. “We’ve always had amazing staff working in the shop for us, but I can’t wait to be in the store more often, then go home to my alpacas and cats,” says Liz.